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‘You go and I go, there should be no ego’

Kellogg School of Management's distinguished professor Bala V Balachandran speaks to Venkatesh Ganesh about about the way the Indian and US economy seems to be heading.

business Updated: Apr 29, 2008 00:43 IST
Venkatesh Ganesh

Bala V Balachandran, the 71 year-old distinguished professor with Kellogg School of Management goes by a simple philosophy — In the long run, You go and I go, there should be no ego.

The first Indian to be hired by Kellogg three decades back, the outspoken professor is concerned about the way the Indian and US economy seems to be heading. Add to that he laments about lack of leader and visionaries in India.

“The sub-prime situation in the US is far from over and Indian companies which get business from US clients stand to be impacted,” he told HT on the sidelines of the opening of a new campus of his business school, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai. His statement rings a loud bell considering that he has taught a lot of students who have now gone on to become key decision makers in financial companies in the US and the world.

According to him, the first signs are evident from IT companies who are reporting lower than expected net profits in the last two quarters and have given muted business outlook for the rest of the year. “This fact is evident by the retrenchments that a few Indian and global IT companies made recently,” he says.

According to him it is not services companies (like Infosys or Wipro) but even Chinese companies who are feeling the impact of the sub prime situation. “If companies are not placing orders to manufacture things like cars or PCs out of China, then it is bound to impact their economy,” he says. Ask him about when the US will come out of a recession and he assures that by June 2009 the US would be back on its feet.

While he is convinced that India’s economic fundamentals are strong, he is concerned about the rising inflation. “A huge chunk of the middle class has moved up thereby making more money available, creating more demand, thereby resulting in this inflation scenario,” he explains. According to him, this rising inflation is a global problem and not an Indian one and he is convinced that the FM is addressing it in the right manner.